Now that you have had a brief education in branding for authors, it’s time to get a bit more serious about this whole idea of branding. After all, by developing an carefully conceived image or concept that goes with your name and your work, like we have when we hear the names Nike, Coke, Target, or Porsche, you make it easier for people to find and recognize you. Think about people like Seth Godin. He’s known for his marketing expertise—and his books on this topic. The more people recognize and know you, the more books and products you can sell. You, the author, become a commodity, not just your written works.
Many people choose to hire a branding expert to help accomplish this feat. It is possible, however, to come up with a brand strategy on your own. To help nonfiction writers—and myself—learn how to brand themselves, I asked Ruth Klein, M.S., an integrative brand strategist and the author of six best-selling books, to offer a post that provided tips on how to begin the branding process. She provided two great strategies writers can implement right now. Don’t wait. Start today.
How Authors Can Find Their Unique Brand
By Ruth Klein, M.S.
Branding your business and your book are crucial today. This has always been the case quite honestly, but now you don’t have a choice because of all the “noise” and crowded messaging that we receive.
If you don’t create a strong brand, then your brand goes into “brand default.” This is very similar to a brand “dungeon” where you are missed and no one can see you.
There are several ways to find your unique brand. Here are two strategies you can start to implement now:
1. Asking pivotal questions
Here are three questions you must ask yourself in helping to define your business or book brand.
- At the end of the day, what is the number one message I want to share with my readers or clients?
- What are my top two skills, experiences, successes, failures, values and talents?
- What do I bring to this business or book that is different than what is already out there? (You may need to ask a trusted friend or colleague for help on this question).
2. Be transparent and create a following with your “voice”
Three excellent ways to accomplish this include speaking, social media and video. These three marketing strategies allow you to be seen and heard as your authentic self and start to establish a relationship with others.
We love to know about people, hear people’s ideas and opinions, see them in action, and hear their sincerity and passion for what they’re saying and doing.
Let’s look at these three activities a little more closely.
Speaking: Speak at any event or meeting that you can. Every time you open your mouth, you are giving others the opportunity to know you and hear your “voice” which includes your brand. The most important brand to identify is the Personal Brand; who you are and your book and business come from that.
Social Media: There’s a lot of confusion and conversation around social media and the extent of ROI (return on investment). In other words, is the time you spend on social networking sites “worth” the investment of time, energy and money? As in so many other marketing strategies, it depends. It depends on how much time you’re expending and what your social networking goals are.
For example, if you want to convert your social networking into money, then you’ll be waiting quite a while in most instances. Social networking has more to do with establishing a relationship with people you don’t know and staying in contact witht those that you do. Social networking is also excellent for connecting with people that you thought you would never know how to reach. Twitter is excellent for this and can be used well in publicity campaigns.
Video: Again, if the end-goal is to have people get to know you and understand you and to build relationship, then video is important. In addition, video is an excellent opportunity to share good content and let people see you as the expert that you are in your field. (For inexpensive videos, go to www.flipcamera.com.)
If you write fiction as well as nonfiction, no problem; you still can use video and talk about your characters, for example. You will start to find a following for this type of publicity campaign.
About the Author
Ruth Klein, M.S. is an author of six best-selling books, inspirational speaker, integrative brand strategist and productivity coach who works with authors, professionals and small businesses in creating a brand without competition. Most recently, Ruth was interviewed in O: The Oprah Magazine.
For a free 7-part branding video series, go to www.4GBranding.com to sign up.